Pumpkin Craisin cookies

Kelly Malisheski is an exercise therapist in the cardiac rehab department at Fairview Northland Medical Center in Princeton. After graduating from high school in Monticello,

Kelly Malisheski

Kelly earned a BA degree in English and communications from St. Cloud State University (SCSU) and an AA degree in health and exercise science from Minnesota Business College in Waite Park. She is working on her master’s degree in health and fitness at SCSU.

Her master’s thesis will be on childhood obesity and self-esteem. Kelly, a certified fitness instructor for 12 years and a competitor in figure/fitness competitions, says she would like to go into schools to teach about healthy living.

Kelly and her husband Dan have three children – Hunter, 11, Sophia, 4 and Evelyn, 19 months. Kelly enjoys making recipes and modifying recipes that are nutritious and have reduced fat. For example, she puts spinach, quinoa and shredded carrots into chili, and her recipes for this week’s recipe column reflect that effort. Kelly’s interests include exercising, working out, bicycling with her children, baking, cooking and fishing with her family.



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar

2 egg whites

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup fresh pumpkin or squash puree

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup coarsely chopped Craisins

1/2 cup walnuts

2 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter (minus 1 tsp. to reserve for glaze) together with white sugar until fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg whites and vanilla to butter mixture and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mix, slowly fold in the chopped Craisins, white chocolate chips and nuts. Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter two inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Bake 10 minutes until edges begin to brown. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze over top with fork.

Beat together the cream cheese with the 1 tsp. melted butter, 1 tsp. vanilla and powdered sugar and drizzle over the baked cookies.



pancake mix

almond milk

egg white(s)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg


Mix the pancake batter according to box directions and desired servings, but modify by substituting egg whites for whole eggs, and almond milk for cow’s milk and adding the other listed ingredients. This results in increased protein and less fat.